Saturday, February 16, 2008
London Commits $1 Billion to Cycling & Walking
London mayor Ken Livingstone has instructed Transport for London to begin planning for a £500 million ($1 billion) "cycling and walking transformation" over the next decade, of which bike-sharing will be an important component. According to a press release from the Mayor's office, Transport for London is to deliver a bike-sharing program to central London beginning in Summer 2010 which will have 6,000 bikes available at stations every 900 feet (300 meters). This investment includes bike-sharing in a multi-pronged approach to improve cycling in London.
The goal of this effort - the greatest investment for bicycles in London's history according to the press release - is "to have one in ten Londoners making a round trip by bike each day, and saving some 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year as Londoners increasingly choose to walk or cycle for short trips instead of taking their car." A 10% bike mode share is highly respectable, however, only one-fourth of what bike capitals, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, have achieved, albeit with a longer head-start.
"By ensuring that Londoners have easy access to bikes in the centre of the capital, as well as making our city a safer and more enjoyable place to cycle, we will build upon London’s leading position as the only major world city to have achieved a switch from private car use to public transport, cycling and walking," said Mayor Livingstone.
The funding will also be applied to create about "a dozen radial Cycling Corridors for commuters to provide high-profile, easy to follow cycling streams into central London" and "the creation of a series of Bike Zones for shoppers and the school run."
No bike-sharing vendor was listed in the press release, nor was mention of whether an advertising component would be accepted. With the funding available, London likely will next release a tender and accept bids.
image credit: london.gov.uk